Side platform

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Side platforms with a pedestrian bridge between them Platform side.svg
Side platforms with a pedestrian bridge between them

A side platform (also known as a marginal platform [1] or a single-face platform) is a platform positioned to the side of one or more railway tracks or guideways at a railway station, tram stop, or transitway. [2] A station having dual side platforms, one for each direction of travel, is the basic design used for double-track railway lines (as opposed to, for instance, the island platform where a single platform lies between the tracks). Side platforms may result in a wider overall footprint for the station compared with an island platform where a single width of platform can be shared by riders using either track. [3] [4]


In some stations, the two side platforms are connected by a footbridge running above and over the tracks. [3] While a pair of side platforms is often provided on a dual-track line, a single side platform is usually sufficient for a single-track line.


Side platform
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Station with two tracks
and two side platforms

Where the station is close to a level crossing (grade crossing) the platforms may either be on the same side of the crossing road or alternatively may be staggered in one of two ways. With the 'near-side platforms' configuration, each platform appears before the intersection and with 'far-side platforms' they are positioned after the intersection. [5] [6]

In some situations, a single side platform can be served by multiple vehicles simultaneously with a scissors crossing provided to allow access mid-way along its length. [7]

Larger stations may have two side platforms with several island platforms in between. Some are in a Spanish solution format, with two side platforms and an island platform in between, serving two tracks.

In some situations, a single side platform may be in use with the other one (side platform) disused like with Ryde Esplanade. [8]

See also

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  2. Parkinson, Tom; Fisher, Ian (1996). Rail Transit Capacity. Transportation Research Board. p. 24. ISBN   978-0-309-05718-9.
  3. 1 2 "Railway Station Design". Railway Technical Web Pages. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. "Railway Platform and Types". Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  5. "Railway Platform and Types |".
  6. "Stations | the Railway Technical Website | PRC Rail Consulting Ltd".
  7. "The Layout of the Station".
  8. "Delivering a better railway for a better Britain – Route Specifications 2016 Wessex" (PDF). Network Rail . March 2016.